As we launch OneWord Journal, our “one word” for October is salt.
The image of salt is core to our identity as Christians. Jesus said “you are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13)
In his letter to Christians in Colossae, Paul wrote, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6)
The image of salt is core to our identity as Christians. What kind of salt are we?
Growing up, the only salt I knew was plain old table salt—Morton’s Salt. And that was just fine. It didn’t cost a lot. It made food taste better, and I put it on most foods that weren’t dessert.
Salt has been used as a preservative in meats. Throw a handful or two of it in a bath of warm water and salt can reduce swelling in sore joints, muscles and limbs. Or gargle with salt to sooth a sore throat. We “salt” icy roads in winter to make them safer. Sometimes it can make someone or be used to induce vomiting in a crisis situation. Salt can also kill plants. I’m not so good with houseplants, but I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about.
In our global age, all the various salts of the world are available to the foodies among us. Kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt, Fleur de sel, black lava salt, Dead Sea salt, French Grey Sea Salt, Read Alaea Hawaiian sea salt . . . the list goes on and on. And salt is used more and more as a balance and contrast to sweet desserts.
But I don’t think Jesus was talking about rare, elite varieties of salt.
A quick look at the history of salt reveals its significance in commerce, religion and even warfare. Perhaps the time is right for us to re-visit our role as salt on the global stage and in our own personal marketplaces.
We hope this October content of OneWord Journal will help all of us do just that.